Monday, 19 February 2018

Not negotiable

Phew, that day has got away from me. I have 10% battery left on my laptop with which to write this. Given the time and the state of my battery this will be a short one.

I definitely need to be getting to bed soon, hence the shorter blog. I have been finding lately that I simply have not been getting enough sleep. It is something that I am working hard to fix.

It is no secret that I view sleep as a very important training tool. It helps has countless physiological benefits for everyone, but for athletes it is doubly important. Sleep helps recovery, muscle repair, mental refreshment, energy levels, focus...

The list goes on.

Unfortunately it is also one of the first things that takes a hit when it gets hard to fit training and life in. Usually we will sacrifice a bit of sleep before we let anything else go. After all, we can mask that lack of sleep with coffee, or by simply telling ourselves to get on with it. However, long term masking that lack of sleep just contributes to poor quality training, potential injury or illness and eventually sub-par performances.

What constitutes enough sleep varies for person to person, but I think most sources advocate at least 7 hours sleep. More is usually considered better, but 7 is considered a minimum. I am not sure what the current average amount of sleep is that people get in Australia, but I know a few years ago is was less than 6 hours. That is simply not enough, particularly not for somebody who is training.

For most people it is simply a case of priority. Sleep is considered a negotiable quantity, where as really is should be approached as another aspect of training. The average triathlete would drag themselves out the door rain, hail or shine, but they would also happily compromise on sleep. Rather the dedication that they give to their training should be given to all aspects of their preparation, sleep nutrition, equipment etc. It is all these other aspects that combine with the training to make for great training and race outcomes.

So, on that note, I am going to leave that there and head to bed so that I can get my 7 hours of sleep.

Besides my battery is about to die.

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